Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reducing My Impact: A Year-Long Adventure. Month 3- Reducing Our Water Use

I can't believe it is already July! This month I will be continuing my year long adventure to reduce my impact on our planet. During July, I am going to be focusing on ways to permanently reduce my family's water use. This doesn't mean that we will never use water for pure, simple enjoyment (see photo above), but we will try to reduce our day to day usage as much as possible, and still enjoy an occasional splurge!
We are already fairly mindful of our water use.. I try to take short showers, turn off the faucet while brushing, let the yellow mellow, etc. However, I used to be really good at collecting water while showering or washing dishing and using it to flush the toilet or water plants, and, honestly, I got lazy and stopped. So this is my month to bring back these conservation measures, as well as to add a few new ones.
So here are my plans:
  1. Put a plastic bottle in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used for each flush.
  2. Put a bucket in the shower to collect water. I will use this water to either flush the toilet or to water non-edible plants outside.
  3. Put a bucket in the sink to capture water while doing dishes. Use this water to flush the toilet or water non-edibles in the yard.
  4. Convince Finn to take a shower instead of a bath. I am going to allow him 2 bath nights per week (as he loves playing in the tub, which has fondly been dubbed "party time" at our house). The other nights that he gets cleaned will be shower nights. I hope this works, as Finn HATES showers, but I am going to try and do some convincing. And bathing only 2 nights a week during the summer is not an option. We get dirty around here. Seriously dirty.
  5. Disconnect our backyard downspout and turn it into a water holding tank for duck water. Having ducks uses quite a bit of water. They have a swimming "pond" (actually a horse trough), which has to get changed weekly. We put the water back on our yard, as it is full of nutrients, but it still uses  a lot to fill it back up with fresh water. The ducks also bathe and drink from their water bowl, which also gets filled daily. We likely won't capture much rain this summer, but if we can use the rain during the other seasons to fill the ducks water bowl, we can cut back on a few gallons each day.
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  1. Love the ideas for the duck water. Would love to see a picture of their little area. I plan to put a good size rock in our toilet tanks. Plastic free idea. LOL! I'm becoming a plastic free freak!

  2. All great steps to take. Like you, I've always been mindful of my water usage (shorter showers, etc.) but I've never really taken any active steps to reducing water use. But, things like putting the water bottle in the toilet tank are so easy...there's really no excuse for me to slack off any more!

  3. wow good for you- I take short showers and have bottles in all of our toilet tanks- otherwise I'm not going to start lugging my shower water from the second floor to all my plants downstairs- just not going to happen.

  4. Awesome!

    This might sound kind of gross. But I save my bath/shower water every morning, and then Dmitri takes his morning bath in it. I've then been known to take it and use it for

    How far can some water go? = )